Specialists Scarce in Hospital ERs

The Wall Street Journal (Health Blog) writing about the Washington Post

As visits to hospital emergency rooms rise, the shortage of medical specialists to treat the patients who show up there is growing, the Washington Post reports.

The dearth of specialists taking on-call duty for emergencies is delaying treatment as patients wait longer for a specialist to show up or are transferred to other hospitals. “It can mean death,” Linda Lawrence, president of the American College of Emergency Physicians told the Post. “Patients have died in transport, or waiting to find a neurosurgeon, or getting to a heart center for a cardiologist.”

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